As a recovering perfectionist, I feel comfortable saying this…
Don’t beat yourself up about being perfect.
Nobody who absolutely had to be ‘perfect,’ ever really accomplished anything worth accomplishing anyway. If you got through the rest of your life perfectly, where would the excitement lie?
I didn’t realize this until I had a couple of my own big failures in life, but failures are necessary in the grand scheme of things, you grow from failures.
I’m not saying, plan to fail, but rather accept adversity.
There is a high likelihood that you might not be perfect or highly successful in everything you do, so embrace that fact that these will be learning experiences.
Being perfect is not necessary in the grand scheme, nobody gets better when they are already running at 100%.
There is no incentive to do better than or stay at 100%, if you are always at 100%. There is no where to go, but down.
Not only that, it is entirely unrealistic to aim to be perfect all the time.
Know anybody that got 100% in every class, from Kindergarten to University?
How about perfect in every subject they took in a semester or over the course of a year?
Neither do I…
Yet, very few ever people give up on school because they don’t achieve ‘perfect?’
So why then do a ton of people every year give up on their weight loss, or health and fitness goals/dreams because they don’t hit 100% on their nutrition or training habits?
This is often the expectation when we go on a diet or exercise plan though, isn’t it?
100% Perfection Isn’t Reasonable, Being Consistent Is (tweet this)
The 90% Rule
Imagine you hit 90% of your weight loss, fitness or nutritional objectives this year. If you got 90’s in all of your school classes, you’d be ecstatic and you’d be at the top of your class.
This would be a phenomenal achievement, some people might even call you a fitness genius. Not only that, you’d also achieve incredible success!
Aim for 90% compliance and I guarantee you’ll see results.
80% is Honours Roll
Once you get the weight off, this is how I choose to lead my fitness lifestyle. It gives me 20% breathing room to enjoy life, while maintaining the physical body I like having. This is an excellent way to maintain.
You can still get great results in this realm too. I’ll even still guarantee you’ll see results if you do 80% of what any good fitness professional asks of you, just know that it might not be as impressive a change as the 90% group.
I will say that think this is the cut-off for most people in fitness and weight loss for seeing really good results, drop below this level and I’m not willing to stake my reputation on guaranteed results.
In school, ya I would say that 70% is a decent grade, but this is kind of the status quo isn’t it?
If you’re already fit, do most of the right things the majority of the time but still fall down to this level from time to time, I’m of the mind that it’s enough to maintain where you’re at but not make dramatic improvement.
Sadly, I’m not sure this grade is enough to drop a ton of weight honestly, but it might be enough to lose a little pretty slowly if you’ve got the time.
At the minimum, this might mean you stay where you are, but I wouldn’t want to hang out at this level for too long.
Adding It Up
You’ll have to kind of keep track of where you are relatively speaking, but that’s a hell of a lot better than counting calories, isn’t it?
If you eat 3 times a day like many, then you can cheat a little on one or two meals per week and still hit 90%.
If you eat 5 or 6, then you might be able to cheat a meal three or four you’re still hitting 90%…
If you hit the gym three times a week, you can miss a workout if you’re having a rough day, once a month and you’re still hitting 90%…
Think about that all for a sec and know where you stand.
If you want to achieve mind-blowing results, you just need to hit your fitness and nutrition behaviour targets, 90% of the time, sure, but what about the other 10%?
Well the other 10% — what most people call ‘cheating’ but I hate using that word — of your fitness or eating routine, shouldn’t mean downing an entire pizza, an entire bag of chips an entire container of cookies or justifying something like gardening as your ‘planned exercise for that day.’
Keep it real. Ease up a little. Let your hair down.
Have a piece of cheesecake on Saturday evening, or a glass of wine on Friday night, maybe a cookie or two with lunch on Wednesday, but avoid feeling you have absolute permission to eat whatever you want a one day a week, or a couple of meals per week.
Don’t obsess with perfect, but be real too.